Save energy and keep warm in your home

Lambeth Council are committed to tackling fuel poverty in the borough and to reducing the impact of cold weather on the health of our most vulnerable residents.

Stay warm and well in winter

Winter is obviously the period when we need heating the most. But with energy prices rising year-on-year, some may be tempted to switch off their heating when they need it the most. As living in a cold home can carry significant risks to its occupants, here are some tips to stay warm in cold weather.

Cold weather tips

There are many ways that you can make your home warmer and cheaper to heat:

  • Try to keep a constant temperature of 18-21°C (64-70°F) in all frequented rooms. If this is not possible or affordable, keep one room warm but pre-heat the bed and bedroom before you go to bed.
  • Set your heating to come on just before you get up and switch off half an hour before you go to bed. In really cold weather, set your heating to come on earlier, rather than turning up the thermostat to a higher temperature.
  • Keep the heat in by insulating and draught-proofing your home and lining your curtains with thermal material.
  • Wrap up warmly before going out, no matter how short the trip.
  • Make sure you have some hot food and drink every day.
  • Stay active - exercise will help keep you healthy and warm.

Prevent damp and mould

Poor ventilation is the most common cause of damp. Buildings need to 'breathe' and rely on constant air circulation. Anything that stops the flow of air through your home prevents moisture from escaping or evaporating and leads to damp. Anxious not to lose expensively produced heat, many people turn their homes into sealed boxes with little or no ventilation.

As well as being bad for your health, this can create huge damp problems, so make sure there is always some way for the air to circulate. Also, wet air takes longer to warm up than dry air, so ventilating regularly and sensibly will actually lower your heating bills. Insulate and draught-proof your home, but do not block ventilation grills or trickle vents.

To find out more, see Dealing with damp, condensation and mould.